To disambiguate what I mean by the shorthand "good" in the question's title:

Is there an English-language book that tells the story of the 1927 world championship match between Capablanca and Alekhine, and which includes substantial annotations of all the games?

If there's no single book that contains all of that, I'd be happy to cobble such together from multiple sources. Here are a few items I'm aware of that don't have all of what I'm after:

  • Volume I of Kasparov's My Great Predecessors series includes a good deal of background and context on the match, and also includes annotations for 10 of the match's 34 games (Games 7, 11, 12, 20-22, 27, 29, 31, 34). What appears here is simply great, but I'd like annotations for the rest of the games as well.

  • Alexander Alekhine's Best Games, which is an algebraic edition of Alekhine annotations from his two-volume My Best Games of Chess and from Alekhine's Best Games of Chess 1938-1945, includes the following games from the 1927 match: Games 1, 11, 21, 32, 34. (So between this and Kasparov, there are 12/34 games covered.)

  • Capablanca's own book World's Championship Matches, 1921 and 1927 has the unfortunate feature that while the 1921 match is annotated by Capablanca himself, the 1927 match is annotated by Yates and Winter. All 34 games are annotated, but the notes are quite sparse, and decidedly light on explanatory prose.

So my secondary question:

Barring a complete, top-quality book of the 1927 match, can you point me to sources with good, substantial annotations of any of the following parts of the match: Games 2-6, 8-10, 13-19, 23-26, 28, 30, or 33?


4 Answers 4


I am aware of ISBN 5278004010


  • the book is in Russian, I don't know if there's an English translation


  • contains all match games, most of them annotated (some games aren't annotated, contain just some short comments about particular moves at the end)
  • annotations by Alekhine himself
  • contains other games played by Alekhine in tournaments before the match

Also, Alexander Kotov wrote "Alekhine's Chess Legacy" (2 volumes), you may try looking for games from that match in those books. Kotov was a fan of Alekhine, a strong tactical style player and he was good at explaining chess to players below grandmaster level, so I think annotations authored by him would suit you.

  • Apparently that book is a translation of the German Auf dem Wege zur Weltmeisterschaft 1923-1927. And indeed that has been translated into English as On the Road to the World Championship 1923-1927. I'd guess it doesn't have all the games from the match (though I don't know that it doesn't), but perhaps it has some of the ones I'm after.
    – ETD
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 19:50
  • As I understand, the book (the Russian one) includes a translation of the German one that you mention. That is the first part of the book which ends with all match games commented by Alekhine. Second part of the book is a collection of short articles related to the match and authored by others. I own the Russian book (paper printed), but you may want to try your luck searching for a digital version online (the Rusnet is pretty liberal in terms of putting scanned books online and making them available for everyone at no cost.) Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 20:10
  • Interesting; I'll look for it. Now I wonder if the English one I mentioned might, like the Russian (which I am unable to read), also have all the match games and the articles you mention. In any case, it sounds like the German text has all the games annotated by Alekhine too, and that would suit me just fine. Once I get my hands on the English or German edition and confirm that it has what I'm after, I'll accept your answer. Many thanks!
    – ETD
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 20:16
  • I haven't gotten my hands on the book as of yet, but I'm going to go ahead and accept your answer anyway for its very useful info. Thanks again.
    – ETD
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 13:39

"Substantial' is a subjective term, but if you like Informant-style annotations the Chess Stars' book (Volume 2 of the three volume set of Alekhine's games, ISBN 9548782235) has some detailed analyses. It's possibly repeated in ISBN 9548782065, Vol 2 of their 2-vol set on Capablanca. I haven't done a detailed comparison of the two.

Game 2 is fairly short, about 1 column, but Game 3 is almost three pages of dense variations.


Just recently was published my book "José Raúl Capablanca, A Chess Biography", McFarland, 2015. One of the chapter, number 13, is dedicated to the match Capablanca-Alekhine, 1927. Games 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 12, 17, 20, 22, 27, 29, 31 and 34 are fully annotated. The chapter includes several interviews and daily information from the Buenos Aires newspapers. One of the pieces, while Capablanca is writing his resignation letter, was until now an unknown part of the chess history.


Yes, the book is in spanish, published by "Editorial Sopena Argentina S.A."., 1978. The title is "Match por el Título Mundial Capablanca - Alekhine, Buenos Aires, 1927. Has 174 pages. Is a gem.

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